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How to make your Unity project look like it was shot on film

The Film Look

Achieving the “Film Look” in Unity

Director Bot is back with a new episode of Unity Tips! In this one, we examine the “Film Look.” People tend to prefer the look of analog film photography over the look of clean cut digital, for reasons unimaginable to non-organic life forms like Director Bot. But, he is able to break down the look into 4 key components. These are, Film Grain, Colour Grade, Depth of Field and Vignetting. Using a combination of these four effects, we are able to approximate the Film Look in Unity. Best of all, we can do it for free.

Film Grain

For Film Grain, Director Bot suggests you use the built in image effect that comes built into Unity’s Image Effects asset package. Just make sure to import it before you try to add the component. They also have another one for scratches and dirt, if you really want to go for that Lo-Fi look.

Colour Grade

For Colour Grade, Director Bot suggests you use Cinema Suite’s very own Cinema Themes. It’s free, and contains over 60 ready to go LUTs that make adding a filmic colour grade to your Unity camera really easy.

Depth of Field

In photography, Depth of Field is what determines what part of an image are in focus, and what aren’t. Although not exclusive to analog film making, a filmic looking Depth of Field is important to making the Film Look believable. Unity has two effects in their Image Effects package that make it really easy accomplish. If you want to make sure what you intend to be focus is in fact in focus, check the visualize box. Everything that is white is out of focus, and everything that is black is in focus, so that way you can be sure. If you want to learn more about how Depth of Field works, check out our product Cinema Pro Cams, which expands on Unity’s built in cameras a bit, and showing you visually how your camera settings affect your depth of field.

Vignetting

Vignetting is a dark circle around your image. It’s usually pretty subtle, but you can make it unrealistically intense for dramatic effect. Technically it can happen when you mount a lens onto a camera with an image format bigger than what the lens is capable of covering. The dark circle you are seeing is the lens itself. Once again, Unity has included a vignetting effect right in their Image Effects package, and it works great. A subtle use of this effect can do wonders for the organic, film look. All of these imperfections add up.

FilmLook

Wrap Up

There you have it, 4 easy to use effects that when used together can give your Unity project look like it was shot on film. We hope you find this episode of Unity Tips useful! Let us know in the comments what you would like to see in future episodes of Unity Tips!